Twenty years ago, a youthful Cambridge side was looking to take on the best of the Northern League clubs as the first season of the new millenium approached.
An issue of the Cambridge Edition, published on April 19, 2000, featured the Reds as they prepared for their new campaign under coach Mark Ball.
Main photo: The Reds of 2000 – Back row (from left): Mark Ball (coach), Brendan Porter (vice captain), Paul Smith, Duncan Milne, Paul Macann, Shanan Fraser, Mark Zeuren, Scott Nobilo, Paul Blackstock, Eddie Callaghan. Front row (from left): Keith Allen, Mike Rameka, Andrew Weatherly, Dean Jardine, Dwayne Ryan, Paul Nobilo (captain), Tom Tona.
The newspaper described the Cambridge team as “a young, talented side that will take two seasons to reach its potential.”
It was a prediction that proved to be accurate with the Reds finishing 9th in the 2000 season, followed by vastly improved performances in 2001 (4th) and 2002 (3rd) in the Northern League’s second division.
Meanwhile, the Edition feature explained how the club was working well with a small pool of committed sponsors.
The club was also working on its next fundraising project – to install floodlights for its junior pitches.
Twenty years later, the club is still fundraising for that same project and has secured two significant grants (from Grassroots Trust and the Racing Industry Transition Agency). The COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, the club aims to complete the floodlighting project in the next year.